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Monday, January 30, 2012

The Hospital Bag Revisited

Hey friends!  Hope everyone had a great Monday.  Things are going well in the Baum household so far, except for the fact that I'm fairly sure my child has her nights and days confused.  She kept me up all. night. last night, to the point where I did two things I didn't want to do: let her sleep in our room for a little bit (I wanted her in her nursery from day one if I could stand it, which is harder than it sounds - more on that later) and gave her a paci (more on breast feeding/why I didn't want to do this so soon later as well).  My mother-in-law is here for a few days and has been so helpful, so if it happens again tonight I will definitely be taking her up on her offer to help out so I can get some rest.  I honestly got no sleep last night, and it is amazing how after two 2-hour naps today I feel like a different person.  Sure does make me miss my pregnancy routine of going to bed between 9:00 - 10:00 p.m. and sleeping until 8:00 a.m.  :-)

I have gotten requests from quite a few of you for a follow up to my hospital bag post, which I wanted to do but had already forgotten about (so. tired.), so I figure while Lilly is being snuggled and loved on by Grandma Suzie, I'll update you all.  I got lots of excellent advice on this from all of you, but that combined with the fact that I am a severe overpacker anyway literally made it look like we were going on a long weekend getaway rather than to the hospital, ha!  I won't cover every single thing, but I'll hit the high points below.

Things I am 100% glad I took and couldn't have lived without:
  • Suckers.  I picked a good time to be close to delivery, because all of the Valentine's candy was out so there was quite a variety of suckers to choose from.  You're not allowed to eat once you've checked into the hospital, and in fact you are supposed to be careful about what you eat before you're admitted because a lot of people get violently ill.  You are allowed clear liquids and frozen popsicles, both of which I took full advantage of (we may or may not have cleaned out their supply since I couldn't eat from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.), but it was a nice change to have suckers as well to take my mind off of my hunger.  I would highly recommend Watermelon Jolly Rancher suckers - not as good as pizza, but pretty dang close.  :-)
  • A pillow from home.  I didn't use this during labor, obviously, but used it for the remainder of my stay.  Hospital pillows are not the most comfortable, so I took a pillow from home based on someone's advice and was so glad I did.  Another important piece of advice was to put a different pillow case on it - anything other than white.  When they are ready for you to go home they kick you out pretty quickly, so the idea is that you won't forget your pillow if it doesn't blend in with the white linens that the hospital uses.
  • Chapstick.  Oh, chapstick.  My lips were SO. DRY. and I think I probably used a whole tube of chapstick during the 12 hours of labor alone.
  • Extra clothes/a blanket for Dad.  We had a terrible time regulating the temperature in our room to begin with, and that combined with the fact that I was a hormonal, sweaty mess made both the delivery room and our after-delivery room extra cold for Dan.  We even asked for extra blankets for him the first night, but he still froze, so the next day my parents brought a blanket from home and he was much more comfortable for the rest of our stay.
  • DVDs.  It is nice to have something to occupy the time spent waiting and keep your mind off of things.  We tried to pick really cutesy/funny ones.  As labor progressed, we didn't pay as much attention to it, but for around the first half of the day it took our minds off of things and it was nice to have something to do.
  • iPod/music.  Although I didn't get to make a playlist like I'd planned, we listened to Pandora on the iPad for most of the day, and it was very soothing.
  • Toiletries from home (Including makeup if you are vain like me and want to look nice for pictures.  I didn't end up wearing a lot, but just freshening up made me feel a lot better.).  The hospital will provide you with some, but there was just something really nice about having my own stuff there - and besides, the hospital stuff kind of stinks anyway.  It was nice to be able to use my things and really helped me to feel like a human. 
  • In conjunction with the last one, shower shoes.  I know they clean the and sanitize vigorously every day - I witnessed it - but I am weird about my feet touching spaces other than those in my own house, so I liked having shower shoes.
  • Camera.  No explanation needed.
  • Pad and pen to write down gifts.  We had quite a few visitors who brought us wonderful gifts or sent flowers, and I never would have remembered all of it had I not written it down immediately.  I am a stickler for thank you notes, so this will come in handy when I am a little more rested and get back to thank you note writing.
  • My Breast Friend pillow (if you're planning to breast feed of course).  Lilly hated it at first, but I think it's because we both had to get the hang of it.  Either way, it was nice to practice with it since it's mostly what I've been using since I got home, and was much better than just stacking the hospital pillows up, which is what we were doing at first.
  • Chargers for phone, camera, laptop, iPad, etc. - no explanation needed, I don't think.  :-)
There may be more that I'll think of later, but those items listed above are the things that I'm so glad we took and will definitely be taking next time around (I just realized that I have already referred to my next pregnancy a couple of times over the past few days.  PLEASE do not read into that (Mom, wink!), as it will not be any time soon, y'all know I'm just a planner and like to think ahead.).  Now, to all of the crap I took that I didn't use.

Things I could have lived without/didn't need:
  • Clothes.  I took several pairs of pajama pants, nursing tops, loungewear, socks, slippers, a nursing bra, and panties, and I took enough to have several days worth of outfit changes in case something happened and I had to have a c-section (the hospital stay is much longer with c-sections, and my doctors seemed to be worried that we may have to take that route because they kept bringing it up).  I literally did not use one single item of clothing that I brought from home.  I took it all because I thought it would make me feel more comfortable, and honestly it is a good thought and may be beneficial to some people, but I personally did not use one thing that I brought.  This was mostly due to two things: (1) the fact that there was so. much. blood. (sorry guys!) and (2) comfort.  I ended up staying in the hospital gown and hospital socks for my entire stay - never even put on a bra.  My breast milk didn't come in until after I got home, anyway, so there was no leaking or anything like that to worry about.  I guess if you are superwoman and your milk comes in ASAP, the nursing bra could come in handy, but I didn't use mine (same goes for nursing pads) until I got home (I would still take one since you do have to wear something home, but I meant to say I didn't use it at all during my stay other than when we were leaving).  As far as panties, they give you these mesh ones that are not sexy AT ALL but they are a serious godsend, and not only are they really comfortable and light on your lady parts, but they keep you from ruining your own undergarments.
  • Pretty much everything I took for baby's bag - changes of clothes, socks, diapers, receiving blankets, etc.  The only thing we used from Lilly's bag were hats.  Babies can't regulate their own body temperature, so it is important for them to have a hat on.  The hospital gives them hats, and in fact in our case there are some ladies that knit hats and donate them and they are super cute, but we found that a lot of those were too big for her little head.  Plus, since we weren't changing her outfit, the hats were a nice "cute factor."  She literally stayed in the hospital onesie and socks and was swaddled the entire time we were there - she was either being held or sleeping in her bassinet so it didn't make sense to change her a ton.  Also, the hospital has anything you could possibly need to care for her, and you pay for it anyway, so we didn't need any of the "extra" stuff we took.  Next time around, I'll be taking a going home outfit and some hats, the end.  It may be a good idea, though, to choose a going home outfit in several different sizes (i.e. a newborn size and a 3 month size), because you never know how big baby will be.  I didn't buy a ton of newborn stuff because I figured she'd grow out of it all quickly, but as of right now newborn stuff is still too big for her (her going home outfit was 3M and that's why it swallowed her whole), but I wouldn't take too much outside of that.
  • Snacks for Dan.  I actually did not get around to even packing any of these, even though it was an excellent suggestion.  At least in our case, several people brought us things, and also our hospital had a little lounge on the maternity floor which had all kinds of snacks, juice, drinks, coffee, etc. so if we were hungry between meals Dan just went and raided their supply.  I'd check with your hospital to see if they have anything like that first, but we didn't need anything we would have packed.
I think that hits the highlights for what I didn't use, which was a lot.  One other unrelated item that I wanted to touch on was the supplies from the hospital.  Quite a few people advised me to clean out my room on a regular basis, and I am SO glad they did because I honestly never would have thought of it.  We took this advice to heart and literally cleaned house in that room - there was not one thing left in there by the time we left.  There were a lot of things for personal care for me after delivery that I knew I didn't have at home and made me a lot more comfortable (ice packs, soothies for nipples, heavy duty maxi pads that I like way more than anything I've found in stores, numbing spray, flushable wipes, mesh panties, etc.).  There were also quite a few things in the baby's bassinet - mainly diapers, wipes, nasal aspirator, swaddling blankets - that we cleaned out every few hours and have been using ever since we got home. I am telling y'all, we had this down to a science.  We knew when the nurse shifts were changing, and also you have both a nurse and a tech assigned to you, so we played them all - every time someone new came in, we made sure we'd cleaned out what we had and squirreled it away in the suitcase and then told them we were running low and they immediately replenished for us.  You pay for all of the stuff anyway, so we figured why not, and it has all been a godsend at home.  I even made Dan take the water pitcher that they left by the bed - I've had to stay extra hydrated while nursing and it's been nice to have it on the table beside where I sit all day so I don't have to get up for a refill every five seconds.  We are still using all of the diapers and wipes we took for Lilly (you go through a LOT of them, so this was a nice bonus), and I am still using all of my supplies as well (again: so. much. blood.).  I even took stacks of the changing pad looking things that they give you to sleep on so you won't ruin your linens, and have been using them (on top of a towel just in case) wherever I'm sitting at home so as not to ruin our furniture.  The mesh panties have been KEY, I am almost out and I'm really depressed about it.  And the pads are the best ever - I HATE pads and have never liked wearing them, but you don't have a choice, and the hospital ones are both more heavy duty and a lot more comfortable than the ones we've bought at the store.  We brought home four packages of them, and even though we've only been home since Friday I've already gone through almost all of them, so I ordered more on Amazon. They only come in a package of 200, but I don't think I'll have any problem going through them as I've been told the bleeding will continue for around 6 weeks.  Sorry if some of the above was TMI!

Okay, this one got away from me again and was super long, but I wanted to make sure I got everything in for those of you Moms-to-be who are reading (and those of you who aren't Moms-to-be but know people that are).  Keep the questions coming, I'm happy to answer them - the point of this blog is not only to document for myself, but to (hopefully) help other people!  When i started this whole process, I wanted a blog that would tell me what to expect that people don't tell you, give me advice, etc. and couldn't find one that I totally loved and fit what I was looking for, so that's what I'm hoping I've created here for some of you.

More to come this week, hopefully!  Here's your daily dose of Lilly (don't expect this to stop any time soon, I have taken more pictures in the past week than I have in years - I can't get enough!).  Today they are Lilly and Layla themed.  :-)

Please excuse the "hot mess" factor of my look.  Looking pretty is basically last on my list of priorities these days, sorry Dan!


Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Birth Story

I have made a promise to myself to try to continue to be good about blogging so that I have a record of all that's happening (did you know you can make blogs into books?!), but I am already so behind!  There are so many things from the past week that I want to document and share with you all, and Lilly is changing so much every day already.  Not to worry, I've been making a list, so hopefully I can get through it one topic at a time.  I have just been SO tired - sweet little newborns are a lot of work.  :-)  Fair warning: this is going to be long.  I was going to break it into two posts, but I figure once I get going  it will be easier to just finish.  I won't judge you if you don't stick around for the whole thing, ha!

So, I guess the last update I wrote left off just after the hospital called. To say I did not sleep at all Monday night is an understatement.  I was battling so many emotions: nervous about labor, nervous that baby girl would be okay even though she was early, excited about meeting her, excited to see what she looked like, nervous that Dan and I would have no idea what to do with a baby...the list goes on and on.  After the fact, Dan and I were saying that it is so funny how for 9 months you are so focused on the countdown to labor, what labor is going to be like, etc.  You don't really think about what happens after labor, which makes it all that much more surreal when it's over.

The hospital called around 6:00 a.m.  I had set my alarm for 6:00 and was hoping they would call early, because I didn't think my nerves could take a whole day of waiting.  Anyway, when I answered no one responded, so I hung up thinking they'd try again.  I gave them half an hour before calling back, and they asked us to be there at 7:30.  I hopped in the shower (had to make sure my legs were clean shaven because I am vain LOL) and we both ran around making absolutely sure we had everything ready to go.  Around 7:15 we were on our way.  The funny thing is, after all of the planning for this baby and the birth, etc., the one thing I forgot was music.  I wanted to record a lullaby album for the baby, which I never got around to due to bed rest.  Then I decided to make a playlist for us to listen to during labor, and somehow I kept forgetting.  We heard Ray Lamontagne's You Are The Best Thing played on the way to the hospital and actually it came on the youtube station Dan had playing in the hospital room several times during the day, so we figure that's Lilly's song.  I still really wanted a Bojangle's biscuit for breakfast, but I wasn't sure how things would go on top of the fact that I was battling nerves anyway, and I didn't want to vomit, so I played it safe and ate yogurt and fruit instead. 

We arrived to the hospital, checked in, and got settled in our room.  Since I'd been admitted several times before, I already knew some of the nurses, and I had been secretly praying that Rachel would be working and would be my nurse on the day of delivery.  When she walked into our room, I almost cried I was so happy.  I felt like the fact that she was my nurse and one of my two favorite doctors was on call that day was a sign from God that everything was going to be A-OK.  I later found out that she actually wasn't supposed to be my nurse - she was helping another patient first and was helping out another nurse by getting us settled, but once she saw that it was us she asked to switch.  I am SO beyond thankful.  She was absolutely incredible - everyone there was.  They started me on fluid and started running all kinds of labs before they started the pitocin.  One of my doctors came in, and I learned that the on-call doctor (my favorite) was sick, so someone else would be covering - to my pleasant surprise, it was my other favorite doctor.  Score another one.  They started the pitocin around 8:00 a.m.

One thing several people have asked me about is the epidural.  I honestly was not sure whether I wanted an epidural.  I really liked the idea of not having one, for a lot of reasons which I won't get into here or else this post will be the longest in the history of the world.  So really our birth plan was, let's play it by ear, see how it feels, and then make a decision.  All of my nurses warned me that the pitocin would make the contractions far worse than had my labor happened on its own, but I still wanted to wait and see.  I think I've talked several times before about the preeclampsia causing me to have really low platelets.  The only tricky thing here is that they will not give you an epidural if your platelets are below 100,000.  My labs from the morning came back and I was literally  barely above 100,000 - I made it just by the skin of my teeth.  The doctor later told me that likely the only reason I was above 100k was because it was first thing in the morning and I was dehydrated - had it been any later, I may not have made it.

Most of the rest of the day was just a waiting game. After checking my dilation (still at 1 cm), the doctor decided to insert an intrauterine catheter (IUPC) in addition to the pitocin to get things moving.  Basically, it would get me to somewhere between 3-4 cm dilated (hopefully pretty quickly) and then fall out when I was there.  The idea was to help move labor along.  The insertion was not a walk in the park, but it wasn't too painful.  I was still able to go to the bathroom, walk around to work through contractions, etc.  Dan and I spent the morning watching movies that we'd brought thanks to a Facebook suggestion (How To Train Your Dragon and Wedding Crashers), watching TV, listening to music on the iPad, texting back and forth with friends, playing Words With Friends, etc. 

I wasn't paying too much attention to the time, but I think the IUPC finally fell out somewhere around lunch time - maybe a little before.  The pitocin was increased in amount every 30 minutes.  I'd made it to somewhere between 3-4 cm and was trying not to get too excited about my progress, which turned out to be a good thing because things were slow from there - my body had to catch up to the progress the IUPC had helped me make.  The doctor came in to check on me and said based on the way things were moving, we may have a baby on Tuesday but it would be pushing it, and not to be disappointed if it were Wednesday when we had her.  It is very common for first births that are induced and early to take a long time - a lot of times more than 24 hours, even - with multiple hours of pushing.  So, Dan and I went back to what we were doing. 

I need to add here that starting basically at 9:00 I was starving. I just knew I should have eaten Bojangles instead of stupid yogurt.  I was allowed to have popsicles and clear liquids, and I'd invested in quite a few varieties of Valentine's lollipops (the watermelon Jolly Rancher ones ended up being my favorite), so I snacked on those, but all day I dreamt of pizza and a Diet Coke.  I was mostly in the bed, but walked around some and also spent some time on the birthing ball.  My contractions were pretty strong - they ask you to rate them on a scale of 1-10 and I made it through some 7s and 8s - and we were just working through them as they came.  They were pretty frequent due to the constant increase of pitocin. 

Also, one detail I left out was that when my contractions started, for the first several, the baby's heartbeat dropped really low, as in pretty much dropped off the monitor.  The nurse told us that it was normal for this to happen a few times during labor, but when it happened more than that they got concerned.  It happened enough with baby girl that they told me if it kept up we were going to have to get the baby out via c-section immediately.  Luckily, it steadied itself and things ended up being okay, but it was a source of worry for a little while.

Sometime after lunch - maybe around 2:00? - I was still stuck at 3cm.  So to speed things up even further, they decided to go ahead and break my water.  It wasn't painful and didn't take long at all.  Some people say that they experience a gush and some people experience more of a trickle.  Mine was kind of in between - at first, it was a trickle, and then later on there were a few gushes.  Really it just felt like I was peeing on myself. 

After they broke my water, things progressed really quickly.  The doctor came in several times to check, and said we still may have the baby today but it might be pushing it, and that it was more likely that we'd have her in the early hours on Wednesday.  I made it through two more hours of really intense and painful contractions after my water was broken (8 hours total sans epidural) before thinking about an epidural.  On one hand, I'd made it this far, I may as well keep going.  On the other hand, we'd been at it so long that I was already so tired, and I knew I needed to conserve my energy for pushing, whenever that may be.  I was torn and kept putting it off, but eventually Rachel made the decision for us.  She said that we were getting to the point where it had been so long since my platelets were checked that the anaesthesiologist would want to re-check them before giving me an epidural.  She said that the doctor agreed that I would probably be below 100,000 if they were to check again, and she didn't want me to be disappointed if I asked for one later and couldn't get it, so if I wanted one, now was the time to ask.  I decided that I was proud of myself for making it so far - much longer without the epidural than I thought I'd make it - and that it was time to get one. 

I need to interject here that epidurals are glorious.  While I would have loved to be able to say I did it without one, I swear it was amazing and one of my better decisions - so glad I got it.  It feels weird going in, and maybe slightly painful, but was nothing compared to the pain of the contractions.  The hardest part was sitting still through the monster contractions I was having while he gave it to me so that he didn't miss and paralyze me (I'm not really sure that could actually happen, all I know is he kept saying it was imperative that I not move, and I wanted to ask him had he ever felt a contraction or birthed a child and did he know how impossible that was going to be).

I guess all of this was around 4:30.  I could still feel contractions and was starting to feel just a ton of pressure in my nether regions in general, and by looking at the monitor we could tell that the contractions were really close together.  A check right after the epidural was given told us that I was up to 5cm dilated - halfway there, but still a long way to go.  I passed the time trying to rest and visiting with family who had arrived (my Mom and Dad came Tuesday night so they got to the hospital around 9, and then my mother and father-in-law and my sisters arrived sometime after lunch).  I was so disappointed, because even though the doctor thought it would be a late night, I was secretly hoping I would have the baby before Rachel's shift ended at 7:00.  I just really really loved her and was so comfortable with her, and was hoping she would be there for the labor.  She checked me around 6:00 and said, "Holy cow, you are not going to believe this, guess how far along you are?"  I guessed 6 cm...I was 9, and she went to call the doctor.  I was a nervous (and excited) wreck.

From there things flew.  I literally went from 3cm to 9 cm in not much time at all.  I could feel that my epidural was wearing off some, but they like for you to be able to feel to push so they'd backed it off on purpose and I didn't think too much about it.  After Rachel called the doctor, she told me that there was still some fluid that hadn't broken and it was the only thing that was standing between me and baby, so would I mind trying to push a little through the next few contractions to see if we could break it?  Nope, let's do it.  So we pushed. And the fluid came out.  And before we knew it, we were pushing for baby.

I will try to spare some of the gory details, but pushing lasted around 40 minutes.  We were very lucky from what I understand - a lot of induced first-time laborers push for hours.  I will say that the 40 minutes of pushing felt more like 12 hours.  I was so. tired. and my epidural had worn almost completely off.  Dan was incredible during the whole process.  He walked me through it, held my hand, held my legs, told me how proud he was of me and how great I was doing - he really is one of the best things that's ever happened to me.  Side note: remember how I told you I tried to set a rule that he wasn't allowed below the waist during labor because I didn't want him to not ever look at me the same?  Well that all went out the window, as those of you who know Dan know that he is very curious.  He was all up in my business the entire time, asking questions and telling me what was going on.  In the end my modesty disappeared anyway because I felt like the whole hospital had seen my lady parts, so I gave up on caring.

We pushed and pushed, and I was exhausted and the doctor still wasn't there (he had 3 other patients in labor the same day).  I was in some pain, and quite a few times sobbed hysterically and told Dan I didn't think I could do it.  He and Rachel were wonderful, assured me that I could, and so contraction after contraction we pushed (in the interest of length I will do a different post on "things I didn't know about labor" sometime this week).  At one point, I actually had to stop pushing to wait on the doctor to arrive.  We also went through a shift change - it was time for Rachel to leave.  She actually stayed in the room with us until the end even though she was off and was no longer my nurse.  I swear I love her, and was so much more comfortable and happy because of her.  Anyway, so the doctor took his sweet @$$ time, and at this point baby girl feels like she's halfway out (she wasn't, but it felt like it) and I am just having to sit there and wait.  He finally got there, took his sweet time some more getting ready, and before I knew it we were pushing again and then we had a baby.

Everything after that seems like a blur.  At one point I remember Dan saying to me that he could see her, and the doctor telling me to look down.  Sure enough, there she was - they told me that we would have a baby in one or two more contractions.  By this time I was excited and exhausted and emotional and I was NOT waiting for two more sets, so I put on my big girl panties and did some extra pushes and prayed I wouldn't pass out from it.  Baby girl made her debut at 7:35 p.m. and wasn't even crying - she was so serious (and still is)!  She just looked around like she was trying to take everything in until the doctor made her cry to ensure that her lungs worked - and I can assure you that they do, based on my experiences with her when she's hungry.  We wanted to hold her instead of sending her straight to be cleaned up, so she camped out on my chest for the next 30 minutes or so and I don't think I have ever been so happy.

I did have a small tear that needed to be stitched (sorry boy readers), but did not have an episiotomy.  Thank the Lord, because the epidural had worn off and I'm sure that wouldn't have been pleasant.  They had to do some serious numbing to stitch me up, but by this time the most beautiful baby girl in the whole world was snuggling on my chest, and I didn't care what they were doing down there.  Dan and I were very emotional, and watching him with her made me fall even more in love, if possible.  He is an incredible man and has been an incredible husband to me, and I know he is going to be the best daddy to our little girl. 

Another item to note: my blood pressure.  It was up and down all day, which was pretty typical of what was happening while I was on bed rest due to the preeclampsia.  It was more high than low - in fact, at one point during a contraction it was 185/110.  They monitored it very carefully and luckily we didn't have to do anything drastic.  I am happy to report that starting immediately after Lilly's birth and for the remainder of our stay, my blood pressure was completely normal.  The last time they checked it before we checked out, it was 125/75, woot!  It will be interesting to see what happens during the next pregnancy, whenever that may be.

One last part of the story and I'll stop boring you!  A few minutes after she was born, the nurse asked me what her name was.  We had narrowed it down to four and had decided we'd wait and meet her before making a final decision.  I told the nurse I didn't know and asked Dan what he thought.  Background: my paternal grandmother's name was Lillian.  I've always loved the name, and for as long as I can remember have wanted to name my daughter Lillian.  My grandmother didn't like her name, and Dan heard her say that several times while she was living, so he was hesitant about the name.  I think the reason we couldn't agree on a name sooner is that I have been secretly holding out hope for Lillian for months.  I love all of the names we chose - but none as much as Lillian.  So, in response to my question, Dan said, "I think we have a name."  I said, we do?  What is it?  And he said, "well she's pretty stubborn just like your grandma was."  And I cried.  A lot.  We waited a few more minutes on the middle name, because we couldn't decide between Grace, Mary and Marie (Mary and Marie are both family names on both sides).  In the end, Dan liked Grace the best, so Lillian Grace Baum it was.  If you care what our other choices were, they were Grace as a first name, Lucy (people are going to think we only like "L" names), and Sophia (we would have called her Sophie).  The middle name with any of those would have been Mary or Marie.

So, that's my story - I hope I didn't leave anything out.  I almost blogged from the hospital but didn't want to do so on my iPhone.  I am so in love with this little girl - more in love than I ever even thought possible. More in love with her, more in love with my husband, and happier than I think I have ever been.  Who knew your heart could be so big?  She is beautiful and perfect and Dan and I keep saying to each other that we can't believe we made her.  Lilly, you are by far the best thing we have ever done.

That's all for now - sorry if there are typos or if I rambled in this one, I am too tired to proofread.  I am going to try to rest before the midnight feeding, but I hope you all have a great Monday!  I will leave you with two pictures of my sleepy, snuggly girl to tide you over until I upload more:


Friday, January 27, 2012

Dropping In To Say Hello...

Howdy friends!  So sorry I haven't posted in a few days.  I will say that I posted twice from the hospital (from my phone) but for some reason they didn't post!  I didn't realize it until last night when Meagan told me.  I just tried to publish them again so I think they should be there now.

I have a lot to catch all of you up on, I know I owe you a birth story as well as telling you about our first night, our first pediatrician appointment today, etc. (and don't let me forget to do a follow-up post on the hospital stay, what I took and needed and didn't need, etc.) but I am soooooooo tired (comes with the territory, I know!). My Mom is with us for a few days and she's letting us take naps so I'm going to do that instead of posting for now.  OH and also don't let me forget to post about Layla and Lilly meeting (people are going to think we only like "L" names I guess) - I'll give you a hint and tell you that I just know they are going to be the best of friends.  So much to remember to write about, I need ot make a list!

Anyway, in the mean time, I'll leave you with some pictures of my sweet four-chinned girl:

Right after Mommy and baby got cleaned up from birth.  Sorry 'bout my hair - it was a sweaty experience ;-)

Baby Lilly at 12 hours old.  LOVE those chunky cheeks and (all three of) her chin(s)!
Look, Mom, my eyes are open!

I think she's pooping on her Grandmommy in this one
Going home outfit.  I should add that it was approximately 65 degrees and therefore probably way too warm for that, but she didn't seem to mind. 
Daddy and Lilly with the stork in our yard courtesy of Dan, PawPaw and Grandmommy.  We get to keep the star!

First nap in PawPaw's cradle.  She loves it!

Wide awake after her feeding this morning. Mom's not so wide awake, ha!

Oh, the cheeks!
Hope you all have an excellent weekend.  Ours will be filled with lots of snuggles and (hopefully) naps.  My, how times have changed.  ;-)


Happy Birthday, sweet girl!

I probably should have posted this yesterday on her actual birthday, but I was slightly busy birthing a tiny human. Eek! I still can't believe she's here.

Lillian "Lilly" Grace Baum was born on January 24, 2012 at 7:35 pm. She weighed 7 lbs 6 oz and measured 19 3/4 inches long.

Sorry for the lack of updates was a crazy day! Labor felt like it took forever when really it was only 12 hours - we were really very lucky because the doctor predicted an arrival around midnight due to how slow progress was pretty early on. I promise to blog about the birth story later on when I am not on my iPhone because typing on this thing is the worst!

Grandmommy and PawPaw Eaker took baby girl's hat home and said that Layla sniffed and licked on it for several minutes and seemed very interested. I can't wait for them to meet. They will be the best of friends, I hope!

It is 5 am and I know I should be resting but the excitement of the day (an the residual pain in my lady parts - sorry, boys) is keeping me up. We are terrible parents I guess because we sent Lilly to the nursery for a little while so that we could try to rest, but I can't sleep because I'm excited for them to bring her back in an hour so I can love on her some more.

We love this little girl so much already - more than I ever thought possible and much more than I could even begin to know how to put into words. She is perfect, and I can't wait for her to meet all of you who love and care about her so much and have been sending prayers and happy thoughts our way.

That's all for this morning, but I'll leave you with a picture of the cuteness. Somehow it's the only one I have on my phone so far, so sorry if you've already seen it on Facebook. Can we please take a moment to talk about how she has Mommy's chunky cheeks?! I could eat her. Looks like she's storing provisions away for the winter in there! :-)



Game time!

We got the call from the hospital at 6 a.m. to be here at 7:30, and here we are! We were actually hoping for an early time - I didn't want to be waiting around and nervous all day. I of course did not get much sleep last night, but we all knew that would happen. I'm feeling good this morning - pretty nervous slash terrified, but we're in good hands! My favorite doctor is on call and we got our favorite nurse from our previous stays, so I think it's God's way of telling me, "you can do this!" They haven't started the pitocin yet - we're waiting to hear from the doctor. I will keep you all posted - we can't wait to meet our baby girl! In the mean time, I'll leave you with some pics Mom snapped for us on the way out this morning. Love!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Last Update (!!!!!)...37 Weeks

So we have some exciting/terrifying news: WE'RE HAVING A BABY TOMORROW!  Well maybe.  We're being induced tomorrow, so the doctor said it could be Wednesday but we'll see.  In a nutshell, my blood pressure was so high today (150/100) that they were like, okay let's get this baby out.  They checked my cervix  again and I am slightly farther along than I was on Friday but not much to write home about - 1 cm dialated (have to get to 10 before I push, for all of you non-pregos) and 80% effaced (effacement is the thinning of the uterus lining - 100% is where you want to be for labor) - so he must have gotten something moving by checking me on Friday.  We also don't have a time scheduled - the doctor said the hospital will call us in the morning.  She thinks they'll call around 6:00 a.m. and have us arrive at 7:30, but she went on to say they're very busy right now so it may be more like lunch time.  I am to eat a good meal tonight and get lots of rest (yeah, right), and only eat a little in the morning in case the medicine makes me throw up.  Then she went on to warn me that it could be Wednesday before we have the baby - since I am a few weeks early it's going to take a long time - and there is a 40-50% chance I'll have to have a c-section.  Basically they really don't know anything and can't make any predictions until we get in there and see how it goes, see how my blood pressure does, see what's up with baby, etc.  She said that hopefully at 37 weeks baby girl will be able to go home when we do, but not to be surprised if she has to stay a few extra days - they will pay lots of extra attention to her since we're early.  I am both excited and terrified, and just anxious in general...I can't believe it's actually happening!  Perhaps we should use the next 12 hours wisely and try to agree on a name...??? 

I figure I should do one last set of stats, for consistency's sake.  So here goes:

Size of Geronimina:  She is now measuring at 19 inches, head to heel - about the length of a stalk of Swiss Chard:

We are full-term today, and her lungs will likely be mature enough to fully adjust to life outside of the womb.  It says she could have a full head of hair, with locks from 0.5-1.5 inches long!  If my heartburn is any indication, it will be the latter.  Guess we'll find out soon enough.  :-)

Weight Gain So Far:  +30 lbs as of today's doctor visit.  Hopefully 25 of it is fluid and 5 of it is baby and all will just melt off when she's born...yes?  :-)

Cravings:  I want pizza for our "last supper," but Dan wants to do something nicer so I'm compromising and we're settling for a nice Italian restaurant - one of my favs.  He has also vetoed Bojangles in the morning, gasp!

Aversions:  Nada!

Symptoms:  The usual: high blood pressure, headaches, swelling, frequent urination, not sleeping well, heartburn, random aches and pains, some nausea (new one) inconsistent contractions.

Movement:  Still going strong - except when we had the stress test today for literally a whole hour and she was napping.  Hopefully that means she's going to be an excellent sleeper! 

What I Miss:  Can't really think of anything, I'm too excited.  However, I have already told Dan that I want my first post-pregnancy meal to be an entire bottle of wine.  Hospitals are cool with that, right?

Things I Am Thankful for:  Wonderful friends and family.  An amazing husband.  A great (for the most part) pregnancy.  And that we get to meet our baby girl SOON!

What I'm Looking Forward To:  No brainer here - meeting Geronimina within the next day or two!  And finally naming her.  And seeing what she looks like.  And giving her lots of kisses. And the list could go on and on and on...

Signs of a Bump:  Still there and still huge:

Next Doctor Appointment:  For the first time ever, I can say I DON'T KNOW!  I think it is maybe 6 weeks after baby is born?  But I'm not positive.  I will not miss going 2-3 times/week, though.

So, off to the last supper we go.  Bags are packed and we just have to pick out some funny movies (per the suggestion of a labor and delivery nurse today) to get us through the day.  Grandparents have been notified, and all are very excited.  I am not sure Layla is amused, but hopefully she will be at some point.  :-)  Thanks for all of the support - continued happy thoughts and prayers for a safe (and easy LOL) and healthy delivery would be greatly appreciated!  Stay tuned for pictures...


Things I will (and won't) miss.

Howdy, readers!  Hope everyone is feeling chipper and refreshed today after a fabulous weekend and that you didn't all stay up too late watching football.  :-)  Although, the weather here is so yucky that if you have a case of the Mondays I wouldn't blame you.

I called the doctor first thing this morning hoping they would tell me to come on in ASAP, but the odds was not in my favor SIGH.  Our appointment is at 2:50.  I know I will spend the day in a fit of anxiety!  I joked with Dan that perhaps I'll clean the house today so I'll be nice and swollen by the time we go...KIDDING.  I promised him that  I would sit on the couch and rest.  I may even write some more thank you notes if I'm feeling frisky (even though I have so many to write that the thought of doing it is enough to make me not want to, ha!).

In honor of a possible induction this week, I thought I would post about things I will (and will not) miss about being pregnant.  Disclaimer: Please do not misunderstand and think that I am complaining.  All pregnancies have fun and not-so-fun times, and anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar (ha!).  For the most part, I have been blessed with a wonderful and easy pregnancy, and I have really enjoyed it.  But there are still things that I could do without in a perfect world.  So here goes:

Things I will miss:
  • The knowledge that I am growing a little tiny human being, which Dan and I made, inside of me.  A woman's body is truly incredible!
  • Sweet little baby girl movements - even the hard punches and jabs.  It is so cool to feel her moving around in there and to know that she's okay - even cooler still when I can see it!  Some people find that weird and alien-like.  I will admit that I used to as well, until I experienced it.  There's nothing like it!
  • Sweet little baby hiccups.  Even when they happen 5 times a day for no less than 30 minutes at a time.  They are so cute!
  • Semi-normal sleep, and nap time that is acceptable pretty much whenever.  :-)
  • Being able to consume vast quantities of chocolate that is hidden behind my belly and doesn't immediately show up in my rear.  Ha!
Things I will NOT miss:
  • The aches, pains and general discomfort that comes with late pregnancy.  My body has had to work hard to do the incredible things it does to sustain this baby, and by the third trimester you can reallyyyyy feel it.
  • My husband's new favorite past times, which include but are not limited to: "I spy with my little eye...A BELLY!!!" because mine is so big that sometimes my shirts are too short; hysterical giggling instead of help at the sight of me attempting to put on socks and shoes; more hysterical giggling at my whale-ish self trying to roll out of bed (or off the couch, even) rocking back and forth like a turtle stuck on its back.
  • Bed rest.  Ohhhhhhh bed rest you are my worst enemy.
  • Heartburn, constipation, swelling, nausea, headaches, frequent urination, and sleeping on my side.  Oh, and preeclampsia.
  • My maternity clothes.  I was so excited to be able to wear them, but now I'm at the point where only a few things fit and I feel like I'm wearing those few things all the time.  I'm hoping my old clothes will feel like I just went on a shopping spree once they fit!
With all of that said, I am looking so forward to meeting this little girl (maybe even this week, fingers crossed!).  I can't wait to see what she looks like!  I watched the wedding slide show that Mere and Mikey made for us for our wedding so that I could see our baby pictures, and it made me even more excited.  I can't wait to watch her grow and develop a personality, and I can't wait for her to meet all of our wonderful friends and family and realize how truly loved she is.  I can't wait to watch Dan with her - he's wrapped around her tiny princess fingers already and doesn't even know it yet.  I can't wait to grow with her and learn from her (hopefully she'll learn a thing or two from Dan and I as well).  I can't wait to see how Layla is with her, and for her to meet her grandparents and all of her aunts and uncles (both blood and honorary!).  Most of all, I can't wait to love on her and snuggle her and drown her with kisses.  So, seriously: come on out, baby girl!  We're ready to meet you!

Updates to come this afternoon after our doctor appointment.  Thanks again for all of the love, prayers, words of encouragement and support! 


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Oy, the hormones.

I will be the first to admit that I am hormonal sensitive emotional when I'm not carrying a child, so Dan I was really worried that I would be an absolute nightmare during pregnancy (don't let Dan tell you he didn't worry, too).  I think I have surprised both of us in that I honestly really haven't been so bad except for on a handful of occasions (remember when I missed the daycare visit?).  Yesterday was one of those times.  For whatever reason, I was a complete and total emotional wreck.  I am pretty sure I cried at least 6 times, probably maybe more...and we aren't talking just shedding a few tears.  We're talking full-on ugly cry, complete with lots of snorting, sniffling, hiccuping, etc. 

The thing to realize about the handful of times when I have been extra hormonal during this pregnancy (yesterday included) is that I know I am being insane and literally cannot do one thing about it.  At one point yesterday I could not speak without tearing up, and I knew it was coming and I knew it was crazy and yet I couldn't control it.  I was annoying myself, and although he handled it very well I'm Dan was wondering who this nightmare was that he married slash doing everything in his power to stay away from me at all times not amused, either.

Why all of the breakdowns yesterday, you ask?  You won't believe it when I tell you - I can hardly believe it myself - but it was because my husband was being helpful.  There, I said it.  I am a psychotic hormonal wreck, I tell you!  Dan is convinced that we are having this baby on Monday, and as I mentioned yesterday we were busy around the house trying to get things marked off of the list.  The first thing he did, which I have been begging him to do for weeks, was to put up a second shelf in Baby Geronimina's closet.  Yay, cross something off the list!  I was downstairs cooperating with doctor's orders on the couch (read: catching up on Grey's and Private Practice), when all of a sudden I realized that there were no more hammering/drilling/manly noises coming from upstairs and he'd been up there for a while.  I hollered up to ask what he was doing, and he said he was getting organized (we exchanged some duplicates and got a bunch of things we still needed from the registry yesterday morning - don't tell my doctors), so I walked up there to see what he was doing.  He had taken everything out of bags and packages, was sorting laundry still to be done into piles, assembling things that needed to be assembled, and just generally organizing the nursery.  We talked for a few minutes about how we really need another piece of furniture (as well as some organizing items), and argued discussed what it should be (I say bookshelf and some shelving, he says another dresser). 

Enter meltdown #1, which was partially due to the fact that we were disagreeing on furniture (even though it is not that serious?) and partially due to the fact that he'd organized everything.  And it only got worse from there.  I literally could not do anything - stay in there with him, come back down to the couch, try to take a nap in our bed - without crying the ugly cry.  It.  Was.  Ridiculous. 

I think there were several reasons to the madness, all equally (yes, I admit it) as dumb.  Firstly, not only did I not like where he had put things in the nursery (which is stupid because I can totally re-do it later), but I just felt like I wasn't a part of the process at all.  Dumbest thing you've ever heard, right?  I had been dreading the organization process just days before, but was hoping we could organize together (which probably was wishful thinking because we never would have agreed on where things should have gone to begin with - we both think we know better than the other most of the time, ha!).  Secondly, I am SO. TIRED. of bed rest.  There are so many things that I want to be doing and that I want to be a part of that I can't because I'm stuck here.  Tying in with that is the fact that I was so excited for it to be the weekend so that I would be able to spend some time with Dan and have some company, but while he was upstairs trying to be helpful I was yet again bed resting all alone and miserable.  Finally, him doing all of these things really just made me anxious and restless.  I'm nervous about Monday's appointment, nervous about the birth, nervous I won't know what in the world to do with a baby...the list goes on and on.  And somehow, his help just made me even more of a nervous wreck.

Dan was truly very understanding about the whole thing.  He only lost his temper with me once, even though I was a blubbering moody mess, and really the temper losing was very mild compared to what it should have been - more like a scolding than anything else.  I finally got it under control and told him how I was feeling, and he said he understood and I should have just said so in the first place.  Whether he actually understood or was just placating me, we'll never know, but whatever.  He is a good man, my husband, and lately I am even more thankful for him with each passing day, if that is even possible.  We figured out how I could help do some things while sitting down with my feet up, and with our powers combined, we really got quite a lot done.  There's still a long way to go, but we both feel a lot better about where things stand - and our house is slightly (only slightly) less of a wreck as a result.  Here's some of what we did:

Weird lighting (sorry), but Dan installed the second shelf in her closet and we started organizing.  I think in the end there will be a lot more hanging once I get some more pant hangers - we are quickly running out of room in the dresser/changing table.  Additionally, we are going to get quite a few baskets to put on the bottom shelf for storage - extra blankets, clothes that have a long time before they can be worn, extra supplies, etc.

The bookshelf!  Can you believe all of the books she already has?!  And the baskets on the bottom are all filled with toys already.  Oy!  Ignore the crap laying on top - we still have some organizing to do in the "office" side of the loft as well.  Also Dan put together the jumperoo and baby gate, neither of which we will need for a while but he wanted to get all of the boxes ready to go to recycling.

Bottles galore!  Someone told us we have more bottles than a daycare would even have, ha!  The sad thing is, this wasn't even all of the bottling supplies - some of it was in the dishwasher.  Eee!  We do have a lot, but our plan is to use some of them to freeze breast milk in as well, so we wanted to make sure we had plenty.  The grass looking thing to the left is a drying rack.

Carseat base (complete with seat protector) installed in Daddy's car - thanks to Dan's wonderful co-workers!

Car seat (thanks to my college besties) installed in Mommy's car (I didn't help with this part but instead sat on the couch, I promise).

We did some serious cleaning out/reorganizing of kitchen cabinets and drawers to make room for baby things.  Eventually we would like to have a separate china cabinet (or something simliar) in or around the dining room area so that we can store china (and hopefully wine, wine glasses and accessories) elsewhere, but for now we just moved it all/consolidated to clear out some space.

The recycling pile.  A LOT of work was done!
In the end, meltdowns and all, we had a very successful and productive day.  Now, if we could just have the cleaning fairy come and clean my house from top to bottom, we would be golden.  I'm sure we will have plenty of visitors over the next few weeks and I hate to think of how gross my house is, but hopefully no one will care.  :-) 

Hopefully this post hasn't scared any of you reading who are mothers-to-be.  All pregnancies are different - I have some girlfriends whose husbands say they would be happy if their wife were never pregnant again because she was so crazy, and others who had no problems at all and in fact were more mellow than they were pre-pregnancy!  Either way, it is all part of the process, and we know that in the end (hopefully this week, fingers crossed EEK!) it will for sure be worth all of the tears, boredom from bed rest, etc.  :-)

Happy football watching!


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Shower #3 - Charlotte, NC

Happy Saturday!

I am under strict orders to be bed resting it up, I know, but we have been busy bees today.  Dan is convinced that they are going to induce me on Monday, so he has literally been up in the nursery all day trying to help get organized, etc.  I am sure it has been tough on him because for whatever reason I am a hormonal wreck today - I think I'm just tired of sitting on the couch, and all of this activity is making me anxious.  Anyway, there is still a LONG way to go in the nursery, so I won't post pictures yet, but I promise I will once it's done and to my liking (which may be never at this rate, sigh!).  At least everything that we have is (sort of) put away, but we still need some extra shelving and to hang pictures, etc. - all things that I was planning to do before bed rest started several weeks ago.  Anyway, we made a lot of progress both in the nursery and around the house, and we both feel a lot more ready should Geronimina make her grand entrance on Monday (or any time soon)!

I wanted to post about another fantastic shower that was thrown for us - another one in Charlotte last weekend, but this one was at the church I grew up in, PUMC.  It was co-hosted by quite a few very special women whom I've known my whole life: Brenda, Aunt Debbie, Aunt Niecey, Elise, Kelly, Miss Janie, Pat and Wellene.  We had such a great turnout at the shower and people were yet again SO generous.  We were overwhelmed with love and support - and we have a LOT of thank you notes to write!  :-)  The shower was held at the church and it was absolutely beautiful.  Everything was perfect (and the food was delicious!), and we could not have asked for a better shower.  Thank you to all of you who helped and attended - thank you for loving us and thank you for loving this baby!  Without further ado, here are some photos:
DELICIOUS cake from the always fabulous Cake Lady Jill.  She made our wedding cake and I refer EVERYONE to her.  She's reasonably priced, and more importantly her cakes taste just as delicious as they look.  This one was one tier of red velvet and one tier of lemon cake with fresh strawberry filling (two of my favorites!).  I probably ate literally 10 pieces.  AND she decorated it to look like our nursery!  That's right, folks, first nursery hint: the bottom layer is our bumper and the top layer is our crib skirt.  I die.  THANK YOU JILL!

Delicious food spread.  And we got to keep all of the sweet books that they used as decoration!

Ugly face, but I wanted to show you the scarf Aunt Niecey made for me to wear.  The flowers that are pinned on it are flowers that she made for me to put on the pillows for the glider and crib.  Can't wait!

Top of aforementioned beautiful baby cake.

Mattress!  And other goodies.  Y'all know she will be wearing that penguin hat as soon as I can get it on her.  And the octopus is so soft and it rattles, and those are socks on its feet!  Everything is so cute.  Thanks Brenda!

Close up of the octopus with socks on.

Gifts galore

Even more gifts - this child is rotten already!

Food spread - all was delicious as usual.

Pat wrote a poem for us!  It was hilarious, and we will cherish it forever.

More gifts as they were being opened.

Unfortunately there is not a good picture of the book, but we got this tickle monster book that came with the monster claws that Dan is modeling.  So cute!

The beautiful hostesses!  We are missing a few, though - I wasn't on the ball early enough to include everyone before they left.
I am so grateful and blessed to have grown up with such a loving and supportive church family, and Baby Baum is so lucky to have this church family in her life.  We can't adequately express our gratitude for your love, generosity and support, and we can't wait for her to meet each and every one of you!

I am pooped from all of our progress today, so I am hoping to talk Dan into staying put for five seconds and watching a movie with me.  And perhaps finding me a milkshake.  :-)


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